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My Top Tips for Dealing with the Changes and Unpredictability of living with Crohn’s

I’ve been traveling a lot lately and to be honest, it never gets any easier. Living with Crohn’s disease makes everything I do that much harder. I could have a few good days or a great week. I could be feeling good enough to climb a mountain one day and hospitalized the next. With these wildly unpredictable conditions, you honestly never know. Throw in a new environment, a new culture, new and different foods, and spices…it gets a little crazy. Technically this doesn’t just apply to travel. Sure, travel makes my life crazy, but so does watching my goddaughter or moving. This is why I’ve decided to share my top tips for dealing with the changes and unpredictability of life with Crohn’s.

Tips to deal with the unpredictability of Crohn’s

1. Prepare to be unprepared:

As a society, I truly believe we are trained to be over-prepared. We want to have huge savings before we travel, we want to be CPR certified before we have kids. This stuff makes sense! But there’s no way we can possibly prepare for everything life has to offer. Sure, you can have a hospital bag packed in anticipation of your next stay, but what about when you get there? Have you prepared for each and every interaction you’re going to face? What about when last-minute changes are made to your insurance policy? Are you going to be prepared or mad at yourself for your lack thereof?

2. Keep your doctor’s information handy in your wallet or bag:

Although you can’t prepare for everything, there are certain things you can do in order to make your life easier in advance. One is keeping your doctor’s information handy in case of a Crohn’s emergency. Since I was in my teens, I made it a habit to keep a few of my doctor’s cards on file. Super helpful. Not only did I have the phone number, but in case I needed to send a quick fax or give the address, I always had the relevant information needed!

3. Water doesn’t solve all problems, but it will solve a lot:

Now you see so many ads for random teas, coffee, even milk! While they may be tasty, nothing is going to satisfy your body in the same ways water does. Don’t forget to drink water. A hydrated body is at least a somewhat happy body!

4. Face masks are not overrated:

As a new “world traveler” I will say, I’ve always worried about how I would come off to people, walking around wearing a face mask. I hate being the oddball. I also hate people viewing me as the “sick girl.” Although I really wouldn’t be wearing my face mask for myself, it’s actually for others! There is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing a mask in dirty places like airplanes or hospitals.

5. Be flexible:

Remember, everything in life requires flexibility. Whether it’s related to your condition or simply hanging out with friends. You must be willing to compromise and at times even miss out for your well being and that of others.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    2 months ago

    Great tips. I find that staying hydrated is a big one for me. When I don’t drink enough water my symptoms really tend to act up. Also, it’s a good idea to have snacks with you at all times. An empty stomach for a prolonged period of time is also problematic for me.

    Great article!

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

  • CrohnsFree
    2 months ago

    Sorry, but I thought this was such a diluted post that it did little to direct the reader to making the necessary changes to become disease free.

  • Shawn Bethea moderator author
    4 weeks ago

    Unfortunately, there is no cure for Crohn’s disease, I simply try to share my tips and advice for making life more live-able.

    Thank you for your comment. – Shawn, Team Member.

  • LynnRichards
    2 months ago

    I thought it was very helpful, in a concise manner. There is no such thing as disease free with Crohn’s. One can be symptom free, and those are good days! And run with them when they do happen!

  • Shawn Bethea moderator author
    4 weeks ago

    Thank you so much for your support Lynn! I try to be helpful and positive with my outlook on the disease, but unfortunately, you can’t please everyone. I’m so glad you found it helpful! Sending gentle virtual hugs your way! – Shawn, Team Member

  • Julie Marie Palumbo moderator
    2 months ago

    These are great tips, Shawn, thank you for sharing!

    I also enjoy bringing packets of Pedialyte or Gatorade powder with me so that I can pour them into water bottles should I need an electrolyte boost. And they travel well 🙂

    I hope you continue to travel with confidence and ease!

    –Julie (Team Member)

  • Shawn Bethea moderator author
    4 weeks ago

    Very true! I have to remember to incorporate this habit more often! Thanks for your support friend! – Shawn, Team Member

  • LynnRichards
    2 months ago

    Gatorade powder is a great idea! Thank you for that reminder!

  • Amanda Osowski moderator
    2 months ago

    This article resonated with me so much – it’s a great list of tips complied. Thanks for sharing!

    Amanda (team member)

  • Shawn Bethea moderator author
    4 weeks ago

    Thank you Amanda! I’m so so glad it helped! I appreciate your support! Sending much love your way! xx – Shawn, Team Member

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